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620 California Blvd Suite G, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401Located in the California Medical Center
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Children’s Sedation Dentistry – San Luis Obispo, CA

No More Stressful Appointments

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Child with nitrous oxide nose mask in place

You might be more familiar with nitrous oxide’s other name, laughing gas. It’s breathed in through a special mask and goes to work quickly, creating a sense of peace and relaxation. What’s more, the effects of nitrous oxide wear off quickly. Within minutes of reversing the gas and switching back to regular Oxygen, your son or daughter will start feeling more like him- or herself. Patients can return to their normal activities immediately after their appointment is over.

Is My Child a Good Candidate for Nitrous Oxide?

young boy smiling while visiting dentist in San Luis Obispo

Does your child dread the idea of visiting their dentist? Rest assured – it’s incredibly common for kids to feel anxious or apprehensive about receiving dental care. Fortunately, nitrous oxide is one method of sedation dentistry that can help your little one relax and feel comfortable throughout their appointment.

It’s a great option for many young patients, especially those who:

  • Have a fear of needles
  • Are scared of the dental office
  • Cannot sit still in a dental chair
  • Have difficulty controlling their movement
  • Suffer from dental sensitivity
  • Have a strong gag reflex
  • Have difficulty getting numb

How Does Nitrous Oxide Work?

young girl receiving nitrous oxide in San Luis Obispo

Before your child’s treatment begins, a small mask will be placed over their nose, releasing nitrous oxide. We will adjust the flow of oxygen and nitrous oxide gas to a level that’s comfortable for your little one. After just a few minutes, your child will begin to feel deeply relaxed and comfortable. Some patients also report feeling light-headed or having a tingling sensation.

The effects of nitrous oxide wear off almost as quickly as they set in. Once we remove the nose mask and turn off the gas, your child will start to feel normal again. Since the effects disappear completely after just a few minutes, they’ll be able to return to their usual routine immediately following their appointment.

Aftercare for Nitrous Oxide

young girl smiling while sitting in dental chair

As mentioned earlier, the effects of nitrous oxide won’t linger after the mask is taken off. However, your child will still need to wait a few minutes until they feel back to their normal selves. While most patients can return to their usual routine after their visit, it’s still a good idea for your child to avoid physical activity or exertion on the day of treatment.

If a local anesthetic was used, their mouth may feel numb for about two to four hours. Make sure your child doesn’t bite, scratch, or injure their tongue, lips, and cheeks. For a speedy recovery, diligently follow your dentist’s treatment-specific aftercare instructions.

Oral Sedation Dentistry

Young boy at the beach

Oral sedation is an option for young patients who struggle with slightly more advanced anxiety. Instead of just using a gas that’s breathed in through a special mask, it uses a safe and commonly prescribed medication to create feelings of relaxation. The effects of sedation dentistry take a little longer to wear off. The full effects should wear off within a few hours, but we recommend avoiding normal activities until later in the day.

IV Dental Sedation

Laughing young boy at beach

IV sedation is one of the stronger levels of sedation that we can offer in the dental office. In this procedure, an anesthesiologist is utilized to achieve the level of sedation needed for our dentists to complete the dental treatment your child requires. It is sometimes necessary when there is a very young child with extensive treatment needs, a child has significant fear, or a patient has special healthcare needs. With this option, even the most significant amount of dental work can be completed in just one appointment.

General Anesthesia

Smiling child at the beach

General anesthesia describes a type of sedation in which your child will be fully asleep for the entire procedure. This option utilizes a certified anesthesiologist to sedate and monitor your child while our dentists complete their dental work. It is possible either in the dental office setting or at the local hospital. We recommend this approach for children who need an extensive amount of dental work and/or have special needs.